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Did you create maps for games?

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First post, by gerry

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Whether it was an FPS, an RTS or RPG and more genres besides, lots of games back in the day allowed for map design

I remember creating maps for Duke3d and Half Life in particular, and lots of RTS games too

The process of learning the technical methods and then applying it was fun, the idea of sharing maps seemed good (not that i ever did).

I also remember enjoying the almost endless maps on CD's and on the early mid - late 90's internet for many games. In particular Duke3d's build engine in particular had the characteristic of "easy to get going hard to master" resulting in many many 1000's of awful but somehow amusing maps

I'm out of touch with the map making in modern games, I'm sure it's better still though I can't imagine how a map designer deals with the sheer level of detail potentially available now

anyway - did you design maps? maybe you still do? maybe yours are still online somewhere?

Reply 2 of 49, by Oetker

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I spent quite a lot of time building Duke3D maps, eventually I even bought a physical book on it (which I've still got). It was great that the game came with its tools on the cd: the map editor, tools to mess with the art, etc. I also made mods for myself (such as, of course, importing Doom sprites), same with Quake. However trying to build maps for true 3d games just wasn't as much fun to me, much steeper learning curve than the 2.5 games and after a while it was just hard to make out what you were looking at in the editor.

Reply 3 of 49, by gerry

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konc wrote on 2021-03-15, 10:21:

Oh at first I thought this was about mapping a game, like sketching the map of a text adventure 😀

ah! But that's a great topic as well! sketching a text adventure map only to find it goes 'east' so often you fall off the sheet of paper!!

Reply 4 of 49, by gerry

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Oetker wrote on 2021-03-15, 10:23:

I spent quite a lot of time building Duke3D maps, eventually I even bought a physical book on it (which I've still got). It was great that the game came with its tools on the cd: the map editor, tools to mess with the art, etc. I also made mods for myself (such as, of course, importing Doom sprites), same with Quake. However trying to build maps for true 3d games just wasn't as much fun to me, much steeper learning curve than the 2.5 games and after a while it was just hard to make out what you were looking at in the editor.

yes, that's it - real 3d detailed modern games must be difficult to mod without some kind of auto generation, e.g. 'create a typical warehouse'

Reply 5 of 49, by Boohyaka

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I tried to do some mapping for a few FPS, but the most I've done was also on Duke3D! Loved that editor. I didn't have a physical book, but printed the whole documentation which ended making quite a thick binder 😁

Reply 6 of 49, by imi

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Duke Nukem 3D, Abuse, Unreal, a lot of Half-Life and some RTS games too... yes... yes I did ^^

I became less and less interested in mapping with modern games though, in the old days mostly everything in a level was hand-crafted, nowadays it's more a matter of putting together a multitude of assets, and creating those assets with todays fideility is a lot of work and barely feasible for one person alone... that made the whole appeal of doing it as a hobby kinda wear off.

I had a short dabble into doing it professionally back then but quickly realized that it wasn't for me to create levels for others under constant pressure instead of realizing my own ideas in my free time.

Boohyaka wrote on 2021-03-15, 12:31:

I tried to do some mapping for a few FPS, but the most I've done was also on Duke3D! Loved that editor. I didn't have a physical book, but printed the whole documentation which ended making quite a thick binder 😁

I also still have a thick binder with the Duke3D docs, all those Sector Effectors 😁

Reply 7 of 49, by BloodyCactus

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konc wrote on 2021-03-15, 10:21:

Oh at first I thought this was about mapping a game, like sketching the map of a text adventure 😀

🤣 mee too, and I did that. I graph paper mapped Pool of Radiance and other gold box games.

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Reply 8 of 49, by Aublak

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I was planning on making a HL1 mod where you break out of a prison. I spent a lot of time detailing those cells. I never released it though. This was back in 2000-01ish.

I believe I saved my progress on a CD but I could never find it.

Reply 9 of 49, by MrFlibble

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Oh boy. When StarCraft came out in 1998, I got carried away with what seemed like limitless possibilities of the Campaign Editor, having previously toyed around with the map editor for Warcraft II. I was twelve. I started working on my own campaign as soon as I finished the game, and intended to make a full three-side story with a whopping fourteen missions per side, using every type of terrain for two missions per side. I even bought a mic for the PC to do some campaign voice-overs, inspired by the Antioch Chronicles. (nevermind that English is not my first language, and I was doing it entirely in English -- which was good language practice anyway).

Eventually the project was fleshed out into a twelve mission Terran campaign that was taking place after the vanilla ending, but completely discarding the events in the Brood War expansion. Sometime in 2003, I even got it included on a magazine coverdisk of a local (that is, Russian) gaming mag, complete with a small mod that optionally replaced one unit and added some custom weaponry to a few others -- I learned a bit of StarCraft modding too. I am honestly at a loss as of how to assess that campaign now. Making missions sure was more fun than playing them (save for playtesing), and back then I got to know the Campaign Editor and its many idiosyncrasies very well. The writing and plot are below average I guess, map design a mixed bag, and finally I think I went over the top with giving the player enough time to build up their bases in each mission, making the result not very challenging (I guess).

When Wacraft III came out I tried making a campaign for that one as well, but creating a full 3D terrain was a chore, and I did not like the world of Warcraft III as much as that of StarCraft anyway. I did make one and a half missions though before ditching the entire project.

Sometime later, in mid-2005 or so, I gave a go at making maps for the original Command & Conquer using the XCC Map Editor. I produced two maps which I think are decent and should be available somewhere for download, and the third one (which I actually started first) had some interesting ideas (I used the red multiplayer player to simulate a conflict within the Brotherhood) was left unfinished.

I never tried making any maps for a 2.5D or 3D FPS game though.

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Reply 10 of 49, by imi

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Aublak wrote on 2021-03-15, 12:42:

I was planning on making a HL1 mod where you break out of a prison. I spent a lot of time detailing those cells. I never released it though. This was back in 2000-01ish.

I believe I saved my progress on a CD but I could never find it.

yeah I also planned making an entire single player campaign for Half-Life, though it never really materialized, I still have a lot of different unfinished levels and other stuff though ^^ if I had more free time I'd wanna finish that some day.

Reply 11 of 49, by Con 2 botones

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A couple of decades ago I created a map for Heroes of Might and Magic III.
It´s got 2 levels, on the surface it is an actual world map and the underground is filled with artifacts, chests, etc.

Reply 12 of 49, by Namrok

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I once made kind of a jokey map for Quake 3. Had two main loops that criss crossed, and a rail gun in kind of a dead corner I wanted people vulnerable in. During this time I was going to LAN parties every weekend, and we got up to the sorts of antics a bunch of teenage boys do. One guy was especially good with the rail gun, so painted on the wall behind it was a photoshopped picture of him being, ahem, violated. We had a pretty good laugh at that. Well, most of us.

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Reply 13 of 49, by VileR

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DOOM! (II). And a little bit of Unreal Tournament later on. But most of those maps were either experiments, or ways to troll my friends when we'd deathmatch. 😉

My only 'serious' attempt at DOOM mapping remains unfinished: it was sort of a 'time travel' concept that'd take you between four different eras, with custom textures and a "hub" of sorts, all in a single map. Might be interesting to take it up again, with some new source port's bells and whistles like scripting, but 0.0% likely to happen.

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Reply 14 of 49, by DosFreak

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Zork in the 80's on graph paper.
Played a bit with Wolfenstein 3D maps but nothing serious.

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Reply 15 of 49, by shamino

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The best part of DOOM was making maps. I probably wouldn't have bought retail DOOM 2 if not for discovering map editors and realizing I couldn't do much with Shareware DOOM.
I never actually made anything good with it though, or even anything I considered complete.

The most effort I ever put into "mapping" was in XWing for DOS. That game had 2 versions of the same mission where you can fly either an XWing or a BWing. I looked at the differences in hex and figured out how to change what ship you fly. From there I started printing the hex of some other interesting missions and changing hex values just to see what would happen. I got to where I could change how many ships were in a given flight group, what kind of ships they were, how many times they respawned, maybe some other stuff.
At the time I didn't know that somebody had written an editor for the game. We might not have had a modem yet.

Reply 16 of 49, by chinny22

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Does Stunts count? probably made more maps then played the game.

Was never really my thing although I did mess around with the C&C one but treated it more like Simcity placing buildings, units, etc making cool looking maps that were pretty average to actually try and play.

Reply 17 of 49, by BloodyCactus

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oh man I def made stunts maps. so few cars could do the loop the loop! 🤣.

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Reply 18 of 49, by wiretap

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My friends and I made a map of our entire high school in Counter-Strike beta 5.2(?) back in the day. Before that, I used to make small Duke3D maps.

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Reply 19 of 49, by digistorm

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I did a bit of DOOM map editing back in the day, including midi and audio mods. I did it with some friends and then we would play deathmatches in our own levels, that was quite funny. I also made my own audio packs for Worms 3D, and also some “levels” although they were merely drawings that you could destroy while playing a game.